Plain Tamales

Plain tamales are a nice addition to any Tex-Mex feast. Serve them with enchilada sauce or pico de gallo for dipping.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hour 20 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 16 corn husks
  • 1⁄2 cup lard
  • 1⁄4 cup sour cream
  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 1⁄4 cups chicken broth


  • Cover corn husks with hot water and set aside to let soak. In large bowl, combine lard, sour cream, and water and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add masa harina, salt, and cayenne pepper and beat well. Add chicken broth as necessary to make the mixture spongy and fluffy (dough dropped into cold water should float).
  • Drain husks and spread tamale dough on husks to within 1 inch of edges. Fold sides of husks to the middle so edges meet, then fold up bottom and fold down top to enclose filling. Tie with kitchen string. Place in single layer in steaming basket, and steam over simmering water for 1 hour.